The top election official in Massachusetts has scheduled the state’s 2018 primary for September 4th — the day after Labor Day. Secretary of State William Galvin is also proposing legislation to allow five days of early voting for the primaries. The date of the primary had to be moved up to avoid conflicts with Jewish holidays that fall this year on the second and third Tuesdays in September. A primary later in the month might not allow for any potential recounts to be completed in time to meet a federally-established deadline to mail general election ballots to military personnel stationed overseas, according to Galvin’s office.
But Gladys Oyola, the election commissioner for the City of Springfield, said she’s concerned that a primary on the day after Labor Day will depress turnout. “People are in the habit of voting later in the month of September,” said Oyola.
Before setting the date for the primary, Galvin held a two-week public comment period.
The date chosen for the primary will create some difficulties for local election officials who will have to set up polling locations either before or immediately after the long holiday weekend.